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Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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Tigers' Duran fills bigger role

Published on -2/19/2014, 10:16 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Paxton Duran was a strong No. 2 starter to first team All-American right-hander Maddie Holub on Fort Hays State University's 47-12 season last spring, the best year in school history.

Duran, a freshman right-hander, finished 15-7 with a 3.09 earned-run average in 30 appearances (25 starts) and 149.2 innings. Duran also carried a .266 batting average in 55 games.

However, Duran's numbers greatly improve if one subtracts five appearances from April 12 to 24. Duran went 1-2 with a 9.78 ERA in 19.1 innings. The rest of the season, she was 14-5 with a 2.09 ERA -- and with a strong finish and performance in the NCAA Division II tournament after the struggles.

"If you take those two weeks away, Paxton Duran had one heck of a freshman year," Tiger coach Erin Kinberger said.

Duran's numbers were better than Holub's freshman year (14-10, 3.56 ERA).

"As a freshman, I did well," Duran said. "Those two weeks I kind of lost it, but I am definitely working on my mental game a lot, and plan on that not happening."

A year later, Holub has graduated and is set to play professional softball in Italy. Duran has moved into the ace role and helped the Tigers open 5-1 at the 8-State Classic in Bentonville, Ark. last weekend.

"It's night and day," senior catcher Callie Wright said of Duran's difference from 2013 to '14. "Last year, as most freshmen do, they don't see their potential and seeing her now, we talk everyday about how excited we are to see her this season."

Duran went 3-0 with a 3.65 ERA in 15.1 innings with four appearances and two starts last week. Transfer Kelsey Kimminau filled the No. 2 slot with a 1-1 record and 2.55 ERA.

"She really hit just a little bit of a freshman bump, and that was more mental than physical," Kinberger said of Duran. "What I love about Paxton is she is aware of it, and she is not afraid to admit to it.

"An athlete who is aware and can admit it is a winner," she added. "You can really do things with athletes like that, and I can't wait to see what Paxton does this year. She is ready for the ball. She is hungry. I am excited."

Offensively, Duran went 1 of 4, but two newcomers, Rilee Krier (.500 average) and Kylie Strand (.474 average, 14 total bases) led the offense. FHSU is batting .335 this season.

This weekend, FHSU plays a doubleheader at Rockhurst (Mo.) University on Friday before the University of Minnesota-Duluth tournament with a tripleheader Sunday and two games Monday.

Two of the contests are against Minot State, who FHSU knocked out in the NCAA tournament last spring on a walk-off homer from Holub. More than anything, Duran learned composure from Holub, the Tiger school record holder in virtually every statistic.

"She was constantly the same whether we were winning by 10 runs or losing by a little bit," Duran said. "She was constantly ready, giving her all, doing what needs to be done to win the game."

Duran called her biggest improvement changing speeds. Duran carried a 2.05/1 strikeout to walk rate last season and opened with a 4/1 K/BB ratio this year.

"I didn't do a lot of that last year," Duran said. "I have worked really hard on making sure that I am coming with my changeup, my offspeed and just keep the batter guessing."

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